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Palmer Township Man Charged with Arson

Man accused of setting fire in back yard while mother was inside Palmer Township home.

A 49-year-old man, who apparently served in the armed forces and may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, is accused of setting a fire in the back yard of his Palmer Township home while his mother was inside.

Police say Glenn Andrew Craig set a shirt, blanket, CDs and a five-gallon gasoline can on fire Saturday night outside the home on the 200 block of Old Orchard Drive.

When police got to the house they found Craig – who appeared to be sleeping -- on a recliner just inside the back door.

Craig’s mother, Martha Craig, told police her son “needs help and is not welcome here because he is unstable,” court records say. Online county records say the home is owned by Robert and Martha Craig.

Police also found cocaine inside the home after the mother asked them to search for alcohol.

Township firefighters and rescue crews responded, and the incident drew curious neighbors outside on a Saturday night, the records say.

A fact sheet in Craig’s court file says he has “PTSD” – post-traumatic stress disorder – and that he served in the armed forces in 1994.

The sheet also says he has a “very long” criminal history in Florida and has previous arrests in New Jersey for being an alleged fugitive from justice and for alleged “possession of certain weapons, improper behavior.”

A criminal complaint filed by Palmer Officer Kenneth McPherson said police were dispatched at 8:56pm for a report of a brush fire to the rear of a residence. They found the burnt gas can and the smoldering shirt and blanket about 10 feet from the back of the house.

They also found burnt matches and burnt CDs several inches from a back sliding-glass door. And they detected a burn pattern in the grass from gasoline being poured on the objects and set on fire with matches.

Craig was charged with arson and related offenses, recklessly endangering another person, possession of cocaine and disorderly conduct.

He was arraigned at 2:15am Sunday by on-duty District Judge Robert Hawke of Lehigh Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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